"A polyamorous quad welcomes their first child"
Connor and family. Left to right: Ian, Micah (the author), Aimee, Michelle.
For its "birth week," the online magazine Offbeat Mama ("Parenting against the grain") presents an article by a friend of mine who co-organizes the Transcending Boundaries conference, held in Massachusetts every fall to bridge across queer, alt-gender, and alt-relationship identities.
A polyamorous quad welcomes their first child
This is not a "normal" birth story. Which makes sense, since my family is not a normal family. Please note the lack of quotes that second time — it's with good reason....
On April 2, 2011 our little Munchkin came into this world, caught in the loving hands of two of his parents while a third held his mother. We were surrounded by a top-quality, professional staff made up of midwives, nurses, and our doula. His entry into this world went exactly as we wanted, with minimal intervention, surrounded by love and full of hope for the future.
...Aimee's due date was Friday, March 30. We'd all been anxiously waiting for the big day seemingly forever. For most of the previous three weeks, every little exclamation from Aimee was met with the same question, "Are you OK?" from one or all of her partners. How she didn't kill any of us is testimony to her prodigious patience.
Friday began like any other day in our household.... At the midwife appointment Aimee was [dilated] between one and two centimeters, so all of the practice her uterus had been up to was doing something. The nurse cautioned that things could stay like this for a few more days, or she could suddenly open up and give birth in a few hours. With that in mind we went home. Around 8:25 pm, Aimee gave out an exclamation that was not as little as before. Then another. She was painfully cramping along with the Braxton-Hicks contractions. This was something new.
...Like a good geek girl, Aimee got a little app for her iPhone that created a log of her contractions. Push a button to start the timer, push it again to stop, and it created a handy dandy log of your use. She fired it up and started using it to get good data.
...If this was early labor, we knew it could be a long process, or even stop. Ian and Mich went to bed, determined to rest in case it was the last good night's sleep they'd have in awhile. Aimee was too uncomfortable to really sleep, so she and I bunked down on our sectional, watched movies, and settled in for a long night.
Friday night was a very long night.
...At this point (around 7am Saturday morning), Aimee had been awake for almost twenty-four hours, and in labor for eleven of them. I point this out because my admiration for her just went up, which is saying something, as the rest of the story will show....
By the time we made it to our [hospital] room, we were all hungry, since breakfast had been four hours before and none of us had eaten much. Excitement does that to the appetite. I had just tweeted to the world that we were safely ensconced....
...Here is where Barbara really demonstrated why every pregnant woman should have a doula. She gave expert advice on positioning, encouraging Aimee to shift positions frequently to prevent fatigue. She had, of all things, a piece of shelf liner (the rubbery mesh kind that keeps things from sliding around), that she used to hold up Aimee's belly. Taking the weight off of her, for even a few minutes at a time, was an invaluable relief. And I cannot underestimate how important her presence was for Ian, Michy and I....
Read on! (Sept. 10, 2012).
That was 17 months ago. Last I saw Connor he was thriving, vigorous and adorable.
Micah says they're planning more.
He also writes,
I've been very pleased with the reception on Offbeat Mama. I've been encouraged to write more about our family for them, and I am planning to do so.
Now that Connor is 17 months, the one thing I can say is that he is a pretty normal toddler. He has his own little personality quirks, like all kids do. He loves motorized vehicles, the bigger and louder the better. He's starting to show strong preferences regarding food and clothing. And he absolutely loves sports. And Yo GabaGaba. But overall, he's growing and developing exactly as he should be. Which would come as no surprise to anyone reading your blog. Poly families aren't that different from mono ones. We just have a couple extra sets of hands.